With two soybean crops grown every year, the world doesn't normally count on U.S. soybeans to last for an entire year. But customers will be waiting with even greater anticipation tha usual for the arrival of the globe's second crop out of South America this winter and spring.
USDA lowered its forecast of available supplies out of the U.S. by 73 million bushels in its Sept. 12 report. Demand needs to be cut to keep the U.S. from running out of soybeans, and the government said most of the reduction will come from exports, which it cut to just 1.055 billion bushels.
But data released today shows the U.S. has already booked 72% of that total, suggesting a mad scramble in the weeks ahead for the remaining dwindling supply.
Net new bookings for soybeans in the first week of the marketing year that began Sept. 1 totaled 23.1 million bushels, 54% of them bound for China. The world's largest soybean imported was rumored to be in the market yesterday, on the heels of the bullish USDA report.
The world's largest wheat importer, Egypt, has also picked up its buying pace since the start of its import season in August. Today's seventh snap tender for 2012 crop wheat was split between Russia and France, with shipment Nov. 21-30. Purchase of more French wheat lends credence to ideas supplies out of the Black Sea are running thin, but the face the grain is still being booked suggests the region's spigot hasn't closed yet. Syria bought 1.8 million more bushels today form Russia or Ukraine.
U.S. wheat sales were mostly routine in the latest week. Total net bookings were 14 million bushels, below trade guesses, last week's amount and the rate needed to meet USDA's forecast for the last three quarters of the marketing year. USDA kept its projection for sales unchanged in its Sept. 12 forecasts, despite a slow start to the selling season.
Corn sales improved from last week, but since reductions slashed the previous total to next to nothing, an increase was easy to achieve. Most of the sales reported in the weekly total were already announced under USDA's daily reporting system for large purchases. Corn shipments remain very sluggish, with traffic snarled by Hurricane Isaac, low water levels and still tight pipeline supplies.